‘My Emotions Are Off The Charts’ – Kairat Akhmetov Ready To Fulfill Dream Of Competing In The U.S.

Kairat Akhmetov walks out at ONE 158

Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov has already made some great memories in the United States, and on Friday, May 5, he plans on adding the best one yet.

That evening, the #2-ranked flyweight returns against #4-ranked Reece McLaren at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video – the promotion’s historic North American debut at 1stBank Center in Colorado.

The U.S. primetime event is headlined by a ONE Flyweight World Title rubber match between Demetrious Johnson and Adriano Moraes, and Akhmetov can’t wait to fulfill one of his lifelong ambitions by competing on the momentous card.

He told ONEFC.com:

“I’m proud to have the chance to fight in America now. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Soon my dream will come true. I’m proud to be on the card with Demetrious Johnson and other great fighters. I will do everything possible to get my hand raised.”

For Akhmetov, his upcoming battle in the United States is extra special because of his history there. 

He went on training trips to the famed Jackson Wink MMA Academy in New Mexico from 2014 to 2016 but never got the opportunity to compete in the country.

However, he loved the place and its citizens, and he can’t wait to return for the first time in seven years – this time at one of the biggest shows in ONE history. 

“The Kazakh” said:

“I was thrilled to be in America and train with the best fighters in the world. I liked the mentality of the people. I felt that America was truly a land of opportunity. I had seen it in the movies, how people lived in America, and it didn’t disappoint. Actually, America turned out to be exactly the same in real life as it was in the movies. I was impressed.

“My emotions [about returning] are off the charts! It’s been a while since [I was there]. It’s always good to come back to a place where you had a good time. I can’t wait to fly to America.”

‘I Can’t Just Sit Still’ – Akhmetov Plans To Cement Himself As Next Flyweight World Title Challenger

With a five-fight winning streak that includes a victory over upcoming opponent Reece McLaren, #2-ranked flyweight MMA contender Kairat Akhmetov could have waited for the winner of Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes.

However, he didn’t want to sit idle on the sidelines.

The former divisional king instead agreed to a rematch with “Lightning” – a rival he defeated via unanimous decision in March 2019 – so he could stay busy and continue his positive momentum.

“The Kazakh” explained:

“I was surprised when I was offered him again as I’ve already fought Reece. I don’t want to face the same guys repeatedly. I want to move on and face someone new. But at the end of the day, I need to fight, and I don’t really care who I fight, so I just signed the contract.

“I could have declined this fight with Reece and just waited for the result of the Moraes vs. Johnson fight. But I can’t just sit still. I’m not afraid of anybody but God. I’m 100 percent ready.”

Akhmetov already feels like he deserves the next World Title shot, but another impressive performance against a ranked opponent would make his claim undeniable.

For that reason, he’s being proactive so that his name will be cemented as the next challenger when ONE Fight Night 10 comes to a conclusion.

The 35-year-old added:

“I’ve done a lot of things to get a title fight. But in my division, Moraes now has his third fight with Johnson. I can’t just sit there and wait, so I took that fight with Reece. If it wasn’t for that fight with Johnson, I consider myself the top contender, and I think I should have fought for the title a long time ago.

“On May 5, I want to show that I am #1 in the rankings and worthy of a World Title fight.”

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